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Change …. Again

September 24, 2011

I have said it again and again:  nothing defines my life so much as change.  My journey has taken another unexpected turn.  Due to differences with the Rollings in how they and I define being supportive, differences they see as irreconcilable, and apparently very divergent views as to how we see the application of the Gospel to our lives, we are parting company.  I leave with few regrets.  Clean Water for Haiti is an admirable work, one that is unquestionably of life-saving benefit to the people it touches, and it has been a privilege to be part of it, albeit briefly.  I wish the Rollings God’s guidance in the continuation of their work.  I am grateful to them for my introduction to Haiti and some of the wisdom they imparted.  I will miss those with whom I have worked and hope we can somehow maintain some sort of meaningful contact.  I am deeply touched by the outpouring of affection and the efforts of some of our workers to keep me in the community.

For me this will mean a seeming myriad of changes.  In a way that has become familiar to me, God opened a door that I did not even know I would need; mere days later it stood open when I did.  I will be assisting Chris Carpenter, the American doctor I mentioned in my post St. Nicholas Hospital, and his wife, Lisa, in pediatrics.  I see this as in keeping with who I am; it is the children who have enchanted me most here, and the work will put me in direct contact with those for whom God has long given me a heart, those who live in this world without power.  Both the Carpenters and the hospital administration believe my nursing training and experience will be of benefit to them.  The work will definitely be a real challenge, as the hospital is severely understaffed and underequipped.  This too appeals to my strengths, as such situations evoke my creativity and ingenuity.  I will need all the courage, fortitude, wisdom, compassion and grace God can grant me to face the human suffering I know I will encounter on a daily basis.

I will face the challenges of living alone and without structured supports here in Haiti.  Although my Creole continues to improve, I am very far from fluent.  Most times I can make myself understood, although many times with difficulty, and can usually get the gist of conversations.  I can shop for what I need in the market and in the local stores.  I managed to get through my interview with the hospital administrator.  Not having anyone to depend upon will stretch me and force me to learn at an accelerated rate.  Since I will no longer have ready access to a vehicle, I am learning to make my way about on the tap taps and moto taxis; I have learned to carry correct change for when I haven’t I found myself at the mercy of the driver and was overcharged.  I know I will walk a great deal more, which will be good for me health wise and will afford me many more opportunities to interact with those around me.

I am looking for a house to rent.  That is not the easiest thing since houses with North American amenities such as indoor plumbing and electricity tend to be large and luxurious, and therefore very expensive.  I have a couple of leads but there are a lot of missing details.  Fortunately I have friends here who are very supportive.  They stepped in the moment they heard of my needs and stand solidly with me. I thank God for them every day.  And God is bringing and I know will continue to bring others into my life.  The compassion and love from unexpected quarters has humbled me.

It has crossed my mind more than once through this that I need to be more careful for what I pray.  It has troubled me to live in conditions that are so far above the norm here, and I have had frequent conversations with God about it.  I believe it makes the kind of relationship I desire with Haiti’s people far more difficult to achieve.  Suddenly I find myself moving toward what will be, although still affluence by Haitian standards, a lifestyle considerably closer to that of my neighbours.   My Father has been listening to the desire of my heart and has answered in spades.

Haiti continues to be a remarkable experience.  God has richly blessed me here so that I have been able to be some small blessing to others.  I am so grateful for what He is doing in and through my life.

Sitting on Jean Hilaire’s porch in Saint-Marc this afternoon with a pile of giggling kids on my lap I was assured again that I am where I belong.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 25, 2011 2:04 am

    We will be continuing to pray for you, Barry; especially at this time of change and new beginnings. It’s funny, because when I read your previous post about first visiting the hospital and seeing the work they do there, I said to myself “gee…that sure sounds like something Barry would fit right into…”. So awesome to now hear that that is exactly where you’ll be! Be strengthened and encouraged as you take on this new role…change and growth can be painful, but they are necessary.

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